JNN 12 July 2013 LONDON: Young British Muslims are increasingly turning towards Mut’ah or temporary marriage for better understanding with each other and to assess if the couples are compatible and can last long but also to balance their religious beliefs with their modern Western lifestyle.
A research by the BBC has shown that Mut’ah, an ancient Islamic practice that unites man and woman as husband and wife for a limited time, is being adopted by young people from all Muslim backgrounds including those of Pakistani heritage.
Researcher and journalist Shabnam Mahmood, who investigated the Mut’ah practice in Britain, told The News that there are no official statistics available for the number of people who carry out the ‘Nikah Mut’ah’ because the contracts are performed between a man and woman and it is a private affair. “Many people are willing to talk openly about the subject. Many are reluctant to admit that they have had or are in a ‘Nikah Mut’ah’.
She added: “Many use it during the engagement process until the day of their marriage is fixed. I found that it was mainly carried out among the Shia population but there are many Sunnis I spoke to who had also done a ‘Nikah Mut’ah’. In Britain there are many Shias from the Pakistani community who have done ‘Nikah Mutah’. The Sunnis tend to do it less but still I met some Pakistani Sunnis who said they would do it if they needed to.”
The BBC featured a Pakistani origin girl Sara, a 30 year old pharmacist from Birmingham, who explained that she entered into a ‘Nikah Mut’ah’ because she didn’t want to break the bounds of Sharia and wanted to know her prospective husband in a relaxed atmosphere. She was temporarily married for six months before committing to a full marriage with her partner.
“We stipulated the duration, my father’s conditions, and I requested what you would call a dowry where the guy gives a gift to the girl. It’s simple, straightforward and doesn’t take long at all,” Sara said.
Mut’ah is a controversial topic and while some sections of the Muslims societies consider it Islamic and halal, some think its haram and forbidden. While some Muslims clerics have called the practice “prostitution”, others have argued that Mut’ah exactly prevents “prostitution”.
Omar Farooq Khan, president of the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Society at Bradford University, said the practice is on the increase among Shia students on university campuses. He agreed that it was a taboo subject but provides a buffer to the “girlfriend or boyfriend” culture.
Khola Hassan, a spokesperson for the UK Islamic Sharia Council, said the practice is strictly not allowed.Sayyad Fadhil Milani, spiritual leader at the Al-Khoei Centre in Brent, north-west London, said: “Islam does not permit relationships like those between a boyfriend and a girlfriend. So a nikah mut’ah gives them an opportunity to get to know each other before committing themselves to a full marriage.”
Omar Ali Grant, a convert to Islam from London, told the programme he has had around 13 temporary marriages but argued that he was just trying to find the right person to spend his life with.
The News is aware that many well-known converts to both Shia and Sunni Islam have entered into Nikah Mut’ah but in many instances have kept it a secret. A former showbiz celebrity who became Muslim several years ago, told The News on condition of anonymity that she has had three ‘Nikah Mut’ahs’ because she didn’t want to rush into a full marriage to find that the man was not of her liking. A practising Muslim from European background, she is currently in a Niakh Mut’ah and lives in London.
It is also another example of Islam being the Pure Religion of Nature , and as Nature demands Marriage , so It gives every chance for its followers to follow the Nature , and to save themselves from Sins .
And any thing Permitted or Rejected by Our Last Prophet Muhammad PBUH , can not be undone by any authority in the World , So as Muttah ( Temporary Marriage ) was Permitted by the Messenger of God , so there is no Authority with any Body to Cancel it or to Criticize it , as it is our faith By Conviction , that what ever Rules are set by the Last Prophet Muhammad PBUH , are in accordance to the will of the All Mighty Allah , and He knows every thing to come and every time to come , so what is done is Done for ever , for all the times to come .
Permanent marriage is the norm which is recommended and encouraged in the Noble Quran and in the traditions of the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt. Temporary marriage is the exception and should be used as a last resort whenever permanent marriage cannot be afforded or things become extremely difficult to bear (for one who can not get married). This section does not intend to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of such a marriage; but rather, to address its Islamic legality with respect to the Noble Quran and the traditions of the Prophet.
Marriage in Islam is a sacred institution, a commitment, and a pledge by two individuals to respect and uphold each other’s will, dignity, honor, and aspirations. Marriage is of two types:
- 1. Permanent Marriage
- 2. Temporary Marriage ( Mutah )
Both share the same rules and restrictions and both need a prescribed form of proposal and acceptance, and marriage—even the permanent one—is open to conditions and restrictions. If the marriage is not confined to a period of time, then it would be considered as a permanent one, and if it is conditioned by a period of time, then it is a temporary one.
While disagreeing on the matter of temporary marriage, the scholars of other schools of thought agree that if a man intends to marry a lady for a short period of time without telling her that he will be divorcing her after a period of time and hides his intentions then the marriage is still valid. In such a case, temporary marriage seems more logical since the couple can actually agree on the terms and conditions beforehand with full honesty.
In essence, temporary marriage is a ‘normal marriage’ with a mutual agreement that is conditioned by a period of time. The conditions for this marriage include the following: a proposal and acceptance, a dowry for the woman, both parties have to consent and both have the freedom to accept or decline, both have to be sane, and a virgin woman must have her father’s or guardian’s approval. However, in temporary marriage, there is no obligation for sustenance or inheritance unless it is stated and conditioned in the marriage contract.
Regarding this practice, the Noble Quran says, “So with those whom you have engaged in mut’ah(temporary marriage), give them their dowries as prescribed.” In the tradition of the Prophet, scores of hadiths state the permissibility of temporary marriage. Imam al-Bukhari narrates, “There came to us the declarer of Allah’s Messenger and said, ‘Allah’s Messenger has granted you permission to have temporary marriage,’—that is mut’ah with women.” He also narrates
We were on an expedition with Allah’s Messenger and we had no women with us. We said, ‘should we not have ourselves castrated?’ He (the Prophet) forbade us to do so. He then granted us permission to contract temporary marriage for a stipulated period giving the women garments; and ‘Abdullah then recited this verse, “O you who believe, do not make unlawful the good things that Allah has made lawful for you, and do not transgress. Allah does not like the transgressors.”
Imam al-Bukhari also narrates:
“We went out with Allah’s Messenger on the expedition to Banu al-Mustaliq. We were suffering from the absence of our wives, so we decided to have temporary marriage with women but by observing ‘azl (outside ejaculation). But we said, ‘We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us – why not ask him?’ So we asked Allah’s Messenger and he said, ‘It does not matter if you do not do it, for every soul that is to be born up to the Day of Resurrection will definitely be born (and nothing can prevent this from occurring).’”
Imam Muslim Narrates :
Imam Muslim also narrates instances of temporary marriage being done at the time of the Prophet and gives clear reference that temporary marriage was lawful during the Prophet’s time, the time of the first caliph Abu Bakr, and during part of the time of the second caliph—who was the one who prohibited it. Even after that time, it was still accepted by some Sunni scholars, such as al-Qurtubi who considered it as a lawful form of marriage and that it had been agreed upon by the predecessors and the successors (the salaf and the khalaf).
The leaders of the Ahlul Bayt argue that according to the Noble Quran no one has the authority to make any act lawful or unlawful by his own desire. If there were an interest in banning temporary marriage then Allah, the All-Knowing would have done so through His Prophet.
Noble Quran, 4:24
- Sahih al-Bukhari, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 4725; Sahih Muslim, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 2494; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 4, 47, 51, and 55
- Noble Quran, 5:87; Sahih al-Bukhari, “Book on the Interpretation of the Noble Quran”, Hadith 4249, “Marriage”, Hadith 4683 and 4686; Sahih Muslim, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 2493; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 1, 385, 390, 420, 432, and 450
- Sahih al-Bukhari, “Book on Types of Selling”, Hadith 2077, “Setting Free”, Hadith 2356; Sahih Muslim, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 2599; al-Tirmidhi, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 1057; al-Nisa’i, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 3275; Abu Dawud, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 1855-1857; Ibn Majah, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 1916; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 3, 88; Malik, “Book on Divorce”, Hadith 1090, al-Darami, “Book on Marriage”, Hadith 2126 and 2127
- Sahih Muslim, “Book of Marriage”, Ch. 3, Narrations 15-17
- Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Vol. 5, 132; Tafsir al-Tabari
- Sharh al-Tajrid, Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. 1, 49